the C word

There’s a word that I just hate saying and hearing. Career. Here is why I hate the C word.

Isn’t it strange that I hate that one word, career? I mean what the big deal about a word anyone? Why do I tense up when someone says it to me? Or I would try and use any other word – but that one word.

But truthfully that one word really does carry a lot of weight attached to it. The word, career don’t just have one meaning and it just branches off to so many different others meaning.

Whenever I hear it, the word career I just tense up and never really know what to say, struggling to get any words out. I find myself dreading someone asking me, ‘so how do you see your career progression’? Why do people keep asking this? What the interest? Why is it so important to ask someone about their career?

Here how the dictionary defines the word: Career.

‘an occupation was undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’

Its something we get taught about in school, especially in high school or as you are nearing your school life. I’m not sure what it like for many another school (especially outside the UK), but for me when I was in year 9 to year 11, we would have career planning lesson and get told that we must know what to do with our lives. Of course, this all correlated with choosing your GCSE courses.

For me, I sort of knew what I wanted to do – work as a journalist or at least something within the media. Of course, my teachers told me that it would never happen and it was ridiculous ideas.  Then they try to persuade me to take up a new career path.

I think that must be the beginning of me hating that word. Being told that it the wrong career path for me and to choose something else. Me being stubborn and not one to be told that it was wrong, I stood my ground and I still went ahead. I did graduate from fashion journalism and I am now writing for a living.

Once I left school, I met a career guidance woman at my sixth form college. She didn’t try to persuade me to choose something else, in fact, she was very supportive and told me what I would need to do to achieve my goal. But it wasn’t the career guidance woman fault, I eventually dropped out of sixth form college as I felt eventually they were messing me about.

As I got older, I would have quite a lot of those dreaded job interviews where the subject of ‘career’, would be brought up. There’s no avoiding it and always the same question, ‘how do you see your career in 5 years’ time?’.

Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing in 5 minutes’ time, lets alone 5 years. So I always staggered my answers and give a jumbled reply. That question always throws me a little, I know it designed that way but for me, it always throws me a way of course.

Even at my last job, the subject of career was brought up. I would have managements just bluntly ask me about my career progression. This is another instance where I would stagger my answers and give a jumbled reply, too polite to say what was really on my mind.

It feels like to me, for the majority of the world, they all seem to be obsessed with careers – well to be more accurate – my career.

For me, I have come to the realization that why when someone asks me about my career, really what they are saying, ‘what are you doing with your life woman?’.

When I spent a good few years doing nothing but going for job interviews and having an endless amount of rejection letters, it did feel very much of what am I doing with my life?

I would found myself asking at the time, if having a career so important; why is it so difficult to get one?

This is why I hate the c word, I’ve come to the realization that society is so engrossed with individual career and their purpose in life; that it not as easy as it looks to even attain one. The c word is often links with money and power.

My friend, Polly (not real name obviously) she always been that girl who never knows what to do with her life. She doesn’t give two hoots about her ‘career’ path. The only path she took is one on a plane or on a coach. She’s always travelling.

She just lives day by day, not thinking about today or tomorrow. For me that is amazing. And that is one of the reasons why I decided to work for myself. Just to go at my own pace and also my own path.

Now I’m at the top of my ‘career path’, I am my own boss. I wish I can say, I don’t have anyone asking me about my career. But I still do.

There is nothing wrong with just standing still and carving out your own career path, whether that is working for yourself or spending your life travelling. It has taken me a long time to realize that, maybe cause I’m in my 30s and now a little older and wiser.

At the end of the day, who cares if you don’t have a career path? I mean, really who does care? No one really. While you may get some nosy people asking you, really they are just being nosy and is too busy with their own little world to do anything about it.

Career is often linked with high powered suit woman taking on the world when really career can just mean you are living your life. Can’t living be a career in itself.

While I might think this and believe that life is more than about a career, I can’t change how society works and which does mean I will forever be hating the c word.

And you all thought I meant the other c word didn’t you when you first read this?